Franklin Ellis.

History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men online

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District Attorneys.*

1792.— R. Galbraith, deputy attorney-general under William

1794. — J. Young, deputy attorney-general under Jared In-

1795.- R. Galbraith, deputy attorney general under Jared

1801-4.— Thomas Iladdcn, deputy under
Joseph McKcan.

1809-1 1 .—J. S. Tarr (appointed Feb. 16, 1 809), deputy attorney-
general under Walter Franklin.

1812-19.— Thomas Irwin, deputy attorney- general under Jared

designated as the .

Fayette County w
Greene County beii
elhanthp forty tho

1'^ cuuiity was entitled
the attorney-general

nie of the organizatio


1S20-2I.— John M. Austin, deputy attorney-general under

James Finloy, elected to fill the vacancy occasioned by the res-

Thomas EUier.

ignation of John Smilie.

1822.— John Dawson, deputy attorney-general under Thomas

Presley Carr Lane (Speaker), 1807-15.


William Davidson, date of election not ascertained.

1824.— James Piper, deputy attorney-general under Frederiek

Daniel Sturgeon, elected in 1825, and re-elected for next suc-


ceeding three terms. Speaker in 1828.

1826-29.- Richard Beeson, deputy attorney-general under

Solomon G. Krepps, 1831-33.

Frederick Smith.

John A. Sangston, 1834-37.

1830.-Ethe:bert P. Oliphant, deputy attorney-general under

William F. Coplan, 1S3S-42.

Samuel Douglas.

W. E. Frazer, 1855-57.

lS.31-:'.2.— Joshua B. Howell, deputy attorney-general under

Smith Fuller, 1861-03.

Samuel Douglas.

ThomasB.Searight, 1867-69.

JS3.3.— Robert P. Flennikin, deputy attorney-general under

AVilliam H. Playford, 1873-75.

Ellis Lewis.

T. B. Schnattcrly, 1879-82.

1S3C.— Rice G. IIo))Wood, deputy attorney-general under James


Members of the House of RErnESENT.iTivES.

1838-10.— John L. Dawson, deputy attorney-general under

AVilliam B. Reed.

1776, 1782-83.— Alexander McClean, for Westmoreland County.

James A. Morris.

17S4-S5, 1786-87.— John Smilie.

A. JI. Linn.

1789-90.- Theophilus Phillips, John Gilchrist.

A. W. Barclay.


1790-91. —James Finley, Albert Gallatin.

1791-93.— Joseph Torrencc. Albert Gallatin.

Everard Bierer. Oct. S. 18.50. Jos. JI. Oglevee, Oct. 13, 18f.8.

1793.— Joseph Torrence, John Cunningham.

J. X. 11. Patriek, Uet. 11, IS.:.:;. Albert D. Boyd, Oct. 10, 1871.

1794.— Albert Gallatin, John Cunningham.

J. W.Flcnniken.i.i-t. 14. ls:iC,. R. H. Lindsey, Nov. 3. 1874.

1795-97.— John Smilie, John Cunningham.

W.H. I'lavfMrd.iiei. 11. is.v.i. S. Leslie Jlcstrczat, Nov. G,

1797-98.— Joseph Huston, John Cunningham.

Cha* i: Bii\li', r»(t. 14. 1S(>2. 1877.

1799.— Presley Carr Lane, John Cunningham.

T. B. Schnatierly, Oct. 10, 'bi. Isaac h. Johnson, Nov. 2, 1880.

lSOO-2.— Charles Porter, John Cunningham.

1803.— Charles Porter, John Cunningham, Samuel Trevor.

S,:r,n-:TAKV of tiif. TnEAsmv (Cnited Slites).

1804.— Charles Porter, John Cunningham, Christian Tarr.

Albert Ualhiliu, 18112-14.

1805.— Charles Porter, William Boyd (Speaker), Christian Tarr.

United States Senators.

1806.- Joscjili Iluslon, John Cunningham,' Christian Tarr.

Albert Gallatin. ]7'.i3-'.)4.

1807.-Charle3 Porter, Cliri,tian Tarr, Isaac GrifBn.

Daniel Sturgeon. lS4ll-il.

ISOS-10.— Samuel Trevor, Clnistian Tarr, Isaac Griffin.

1814.- John St. Clair (Speaker).

DiuErrnR OF United States Mint.

1818.- William Davidson (Speaker).

Daniel Sturgeon, lS03-a8.

IS39.-^-Robert P. Flenniken, William Andrews.

United St.Ues Minister to Denmark.

1840.— Robert P. Flenniken, John Fuller.

Robert P. Flennikin, appointed bv President Polk, 1845.

1 84 1.— Aaron Bucher, John 11. Deford.

1842.— John Morgan, John H. Deford.

Governor of Utah Territokv.

1S43-44.— John Morgan, James C. Cummings.

Robert P. Flennikin. appointed by President Buchanan, 1857.

1845.- Robert T. Galloway, Alexander M. Hill.

Members of Congress.

lS46.-John W. Philips, William Colvin.

IS47-48.— William Redick, William T. Roberts.

JohnSmilie. 17!i3-95. 1790-1812.
Albert Gallatin. 170:)-07, 1790-1801.

1849-50.— James P. Downer, Joseph E. Griffin.
1851.— Peter U. Hook, AlcNandcr M. Hill. ■|:h,. IM:-L'1.

Andrcn Siru.irt. |sJI-2:;. 1827-29, 1831-35, 1830-49.

Thoma.- Irw.n, ls-j:u:;|.

1853.- AVilliam Y. Roberts, Abraham Gallantine.

1855.— S. B. P.age.
1856.— Peter A. Johns.

1857.— John Bierer.

Henry W . Boon, 1S41-43.

John L. Dawson, ls.-,l-55, 180.3-67.

1858.- Henry Galley.
1859-60.— John Collins.

Attounev-Geseral of Pe.nxsvlvania.

1861-62.- DanielKaine.

James Todd, Dee. 18, 1835, to March, 1833.

1863-64.- Thomas B. Searight.

1865-66.- Charles E. Boyle.

State Treasurers.

1867-68.- William H. Playford.

JohnB. Trevor, 1820-21.

1869-70.— Thomas B. Schnatterly.

Daniel Sturgeon, 1S36-40.

1871-72.— Samuel H. Smith.


1873.— Jasper M. Thompson.

Daniel Sturgeon, .appointed M.ay 3, 1830; held till May, 1836.

1874.— Robert T. Deyarmon, James Darby.

1876.- Robert M. Hill.

State Senators.^

1878.— Jacob Proving, Charles S. Seaton.

John Smilie, elected 1790. In 1792 he resigned on account of

ISSO.-Jacob Provins, Smith Buttermore.

his election to Congress in that year.

1 No cunn.lete li»t can be given for the years prior to 1S20, because no

■ For about thirty y«ars prior to this date no election records arc in

election records covering that period are in esialciice.

existence, therefore the list cannot be given for IhoBc jcars.



Mf.mdkiis Of TUE 8


Isaac Meiison, 1783.

John Woods, Nov. C,


John Smilie, Nov. 2,


Nathaniel Breading,


9, 17S9.

Members of Constitutiosal

1776.-Edward Cook



17S9-90.— John Smilie, Albert Gallalin.

183S.— John Fuller, David Gilmore, William L. Miller.

Member op the Cou.vcil ok Cexsohs.'
John Smilie, elected 1783.

Member of the Board of Propertv.
Nathaniel Breading, appointed Nov. 1, 1790.

Commissioner of Exchange.
Edward Cook, aiipointed April 5, 1779.


I Edward Cook, Jan. 5, 1782.
! Eobert Beall, Feb. 19, 1784.
I Joseph Torrcnce, Sept. 3, 1789.


Edward Cook, March 21, 1777, Westmoreland.

Edward Cook, June 2, 1780, AVcstmorcltind.

Alexander MoClean, Jan. 5, 1782, Westmoreland.
' Agent for Forfeited Estates.

I Ephraim Douglass, March 14, 1789.

Collectors of Excise.

Joseph Douglass,' Dec. 12, 17Sfi.

Benjamin Wells, 1792-04.

In the Genius of Libcrtij oi Oct. 18, 1809, occurs
the earliest mention of a medical society in Fayette
County. It is an article addressed to physicians, and
closes as follows : "And for that purpose the members
of the Union Medical Society and other practition-
ers who as yet have not had an opportunity of be-
coming members are requested to attend at the house
of Mr. James Gregg, in Uniontown, on Tuesday, the
Ttli day of November, at 11 o'clock a.m. ;" dated Oct.
5, 1809. No account is found of the meeting, nor
any I'urther knowledge of the society obtained, except
that in the following year there was published in the
«ame newspaper "A schedule of compensations ad-
judged by the committee, members of the Union
Medical Society, which may be due for medical ser-
vice, etc., followed by the prices as established by

1 The duty of the Council of Censors was to inquire and usrertain
wliellior the constitution had "been preserved inviolate in every part;''
vliether it was perfect in all its parts, or reiiuiriug amendment; also to
review the decisions of the judges of the courts.

2 The oBice uf county lieuleimnt existed in Pennsylvania from 1770
to 1790. It carried with it the title of colonel, and gave to the persun
lioldiug it the command of the militia and the management of the mili-
tary fiscal affiiirs of the county.

3 On the 7th of April, 1785, 'William Gralinm was nppoin:cJ collector
of e.xcise lor Westmorelaud, Washingtuu, an , \.,y\\- ik-s. His

was one of the first causes out of which (.T" ! " I -ur-ction.

John Cruig succeeded him, and his coni:iii-M n ^^,l- m . Ltd Dec. 12,

the fee bill, and signed by Robert D. Moore, Lewis
Sweitzer, and Lewis Marchand, committee, with date
of Sept. 1, 1810.

The Fayette County Medical Association was
formed at a meeting of physicians of the county,
held for that purpose at the Town Hall in Union-
town, June 25, 1844. The physicians present were
Drs. Campbell, Stanley, Johnston, Thompson, Rob-
erts, Worrak, Miller, Fleming, Jones, Lindley, Rob-
inson, Post, Fuller, Neff, Penny, Marchand, Lafferty,
Fitter, Mathiot, and Shugart. Dr. Abraham Stanley
was made chairman, assisted by Drs. Lindley and
Campbell, which last-named gentleman delivered
the address. Dr. Smith Fuller and Dr. H. F. Rob-
erts reported a constitution and by-laws, which were
adopted by the meeting and subscribed by the fol-
lowing-named physicians, viz. : Hugh Campbell, A.
H. Campbell, Smith Fuller, H. F. Roberts, and D. H.
Johnston, of Uniontown ; Lutellus Lindley, Connells-
ville ; Abraham Stanley, Bridgeport ; James Thomp-
son, New Geneva; W. L. Laflerty, Brownsville;
Lewis Marchand, near Brownsville; T. A. Shugart
and James Robinson, Perryopolis; C. B. Fitter and
PI. B. Mathiot, Smithfield; Jacob Post, New Salem;
F. H. Fleming, Cookstown ; G. W. Nelf, Masontown ;
J. Penny, McClellandtown ; and J. R. Worrak and
J. H. Miller, of Washington County.

The association was organized with the following-
named officers :

President, Dr. Hugh Campbell.

Treasurer, Dr. Smith Fuller.

Corresponding Secretary, Dr. A. H. Campbell.

Recording Secretary, Dr. H. F. Roberts.

Meetings were held in August and November of
that year, but the association appears to have been
short-lived, for the last record of it is dated Dec. 19,

The present medical society of the county was
formed at a meeting of physicians held for the pur-
pose at Brownsville, May 18, 1869. There were pres-
ent Drs. J. S. Van Vuorhecs, W. H. Sturgeon, H. F.
Roberts, W. P. Duncan, S. A. Conklin, J. B. Ewing,
Knox, and Hazlctt. A committee, composed of Drs.
Duncan, Ewing, Conklin, and Sturgeon, reported a
constitution (based on that of the Alleglicny County
Medical Society), and -ium d by the |iliy,-i(i;iiis above
named, with the a.lditi..n ..f V. (J. l!..l.iii-..,ii and B.
F. Conklin. The first officers of the society were W.
P. Duncan, jircsident; J. S. Van Voorhees, vice-
president ; J. B. Ewing, recording secretary ; H. F.
Roberts, corresponding secretary; and W. H. Stur-
geon, treasurer.

At the meeting held in July following the consti-
tution was signed by Drs. Lindley, Fuller, Groonet,
Phillips, Rogers, Patten, Mathiot, Carey, Fiiiley, and
Eastman. Additions to the roll of the society were
made at subsequent times as follows:



October, 1870.— Drs. George V/. Neff, James Sloan,
S. B. Chalfant, John Davidson.

Jan. .3, 1871.— Dr.s. Sangston and Porter.

April 4, 1871.— Dr. Smith Buttermore.

Jan. 2, 1872.— Dr. J. J. Singer, Connellsville.

April 2, 1872.— Dr. W. C. Byers, Belle Vernon.

Oct. 1, 1872.— Drs. Isaac Jackson and B. Shoe-
maker, of Brownsville.

April 1, 1873.— Dr. Strickler.

Oct. 8, 1873.— Dr. L. Lindley, Connellsville.

Jan. 2, 1877. — Dr. John Hankins, Uniontown.

July 3, 1877. — Drs. Richard Shipler and Johnston.

Oct. 2, 1877.— Dr. J. R. Nelin, Brownsville.

Jan. 8, 1878. — Dr. Nelson Green, New Geneva, and
Dr. L. S. Gaddis, Uniontown.

April 1, 1879.— Drs. J. M. Gordon, J. M. Gordon,
Jr., and Smith Fuller, Jr.

June 4, 1881.- Dr. J. V. Porter.

The officers of the society for 1881 are :

President, Dr. J. B. Ewing ; Vice-President, Dr.
John D. Sturgeon, Jr. ; Recording Secretary, Dr.
John Hankins ; Assistant Secretary, Dr. W. S. Dun-
can ; Treasurer, Dr. L. S. Gaddis ; Censor, Dr. F. C.
Robinson; Delegates to State Medical Convention,
Drs. Robinson, Green, Duncan, Clark, and Sturgeon,
Jr. ; Delegates to National Medical Association, Drs.
Van Voorhees, Robinson, and Duncan.


The existence of a society for the promotion of
agriculture in Fayette County sixty years ago is
proved by an entry in the records of the commis-
sioners of date Sept. 2, 1822, at which time the board
"issued $150 to Hugh Thompson, treasurer of the
Society for the Promotion of Agriculture and Domestic
Manufactures in Fayette County, which sum the said
society are entitled to receive out of the county treas-
ury agreeably to an act of the General Assembly
passed March 0, 1820."

The Brownsville Wesferii Reghtrr of March 10,
1823, contains an advertisement by the secretary of
the a.i;ricultural s.jcicly. Col. Samuel Evans, announ-
cing the preiiiiunis to \n- awarded at the exhibition of
t'.iat year. It was reijuircl that "articles must have
been manufactuicd in Fayette County, otherwise
they are not entitled to preniiaiiis." This is the latest
notice of or reference to this old society which has
been found.

In 1852 an HLirirultuial association was formed in
Jefferson towii-liip, and a fair was held on the farm of
Robert Elliott. Altcrwards Mr. 'Williani Colvin, of
Redstone, and citizens of Brownsville and Luzerne
township became interested, and formed the project
to organize a county association, which was accom-
plished, and its first exhibition was held on the form
of Eli Cope, Esq., near Brownsville. Associations
were soon after formed at Fayette City and Connells-
ville. The people of Uniontown became awakened,

and the project was conceived to form a society, with
headquarters and grounds at the county-seat. The
proposition was made to the Brownsville society, and
was concurred in by a number of its officers and mem-
bers. In 1857 or '.58 a lot of about twenty acres of
land was secured in a favorable location, suitable
buildings and a large number of stalls for stock were
erected, and a half-mile track graded. Here several
exhibitions were held, but the breaking out of the
war of the Rebellion overshadowed everything not
pertaining to its prosecution, and led to the abandon-
ment of this enterprise.

About 1869 a society known as the Fayette County
Agricultural and Mechanical Association was formed, ,
which located its grounds above Brownsville, on the '
farm of William Britton, where the necessary build-
ings were erected, fences built, and a track graded, ,
involving an expenditure of some thousands of dol-
lars. The first exhibition of the association was held \
here in 1869, and several were held afterwards, but
no permanent success resulted, and the enterprise
languished and finally failed.

The Fayette County Agricultural Association was
chartered July 21, 1879, with E.. B. Dawson, Robert
Hogsett, William Beeson, Joseph M. Hadden, and
John Snider, charter members. In the spring of the
same year an arrangement was. made with Monroe
Beeson, administrator of the estate of Rachel Skiles,
deceased, for a tract of about twenty-nine and a half
acres of land, which was deeded to the association in
November of the same year. An additional lot of
land adjoining the first named, and containing two
and three-fourths acres, was purchased of William
H. Sembower, and conveyed to the association by
deed dated Oct. 5, 1879.

The fair-grounds, embracing these two tracts, are
located on the west side of the track of the Southwest
Pennsylvania Railroad, about five-eighths of a mile
north of Uniontown. On these grounds suitable
buildings and stalls were erected, a tract graded in the
best manner, and the whole well inclosed by a sub- ■
stantial fence, the total cost being about $10,000.
Within this inclosure the first fair of the association
was held iu the fall of 1879, with favorable financial
result. At the fair of 1880 there were five hundred
and sixty entries in the agricultural department alone,
and the aggregate receipts of the exhibition were
about $2600. If the interest which has already been
awakened among the people continues to increase In
the same ratio as hitherto, the prospects of the asso-
ciation are excellent for the future. Further improve-
ments iu the grounds are in contemplation, and when
these are completed as proposed, they will hardly be
inferior to the grounds of any similar association in
the State of Pennsylvania.

The present (1881) officers of the association are
Jas])er M. Thompson, president ; A. C. Nutt, trea.s-
urcr ; and John K. Ewing, secretary.





" The Whiskey Insurrection" is a term which has
been usually applied to a series of unlawful and vio-
lent acts committed (principally in 1794, but to
some extent in previous years) by inhabitants of the
counties of Washington, Allegheny, Westmoreland,
and Fayette. These illegal and insurrectionary acts
embraced an armed resistance on several occasions to
the execution of certain State and national laws im-
posin;; an excise tax on distilled spirits and stills
used for the manufacture of such spirits, a measure
which was generally and peculiarly obnoxious to the
people of these counties, particularly because they
regarded it as calculated to bear with especial and
discriminating severity on the industries of this sec-
tion as compared with other parts of the country.

The first excise tax imposed in the province of
Pennsylvania was that authorized in an act of As-
sembly passed March IC, 1684, entitled " Bill of Aid
and Assistance of the Government." ' As it was found
to be objentionable to the sense of the people, that
part of the bill relating to the collection of excise
duties was repealed soon afterwards, and no similar
legislation was had for more than half a century. In
1738 the provincial Assembly passed "An act for
laying an excise on wine, rum, brandy, and other
spirits,"- but this, like its predecessor of 1684, was
received with such unmistakable disfavor that it re-
mained in force only a few months from the com-
mencement of its operation. Again, in May, 1744,
the Assembly renewed the measure, " for the pur-
pose of providing money without a general tax, not
only to purchase arms and ammunition for defense,
but to answer such demands as might be made upon
the inhabitants of the province by his Majesty for
distressing the public enemy in America."^ This
enactment remained in operation but a short time.
Another excise law was passed in 1756, but failed of
execution ; then for nearly sixteen years the people
of Pennsylvania were undisturbed by governmental
attem)pts to collect impost duties on spirits.

In 1772 the subject came again before the Assam- I
bly, and as a measure of revenue a new act was
piisiied* levying a duty on domestic and foreign dis-
tilled spirits. At first this law was not executed in I
reference to domestic liquors, nor was there any en- |
ergetic attempt made for that purpose, particularly in [
the old counties of the province ; but after Pennsyl-
vania became a State, and her necessities were greatly
increased by the Revolutionary war, then in progress,
the law was put in execution, and a very consider-
able revenue obtained in that way, the measure being
at that time the less obnoxious because patriotic men
were opposed to the consumption of grain in distilla-

1 Votes of AESombly, i. 20. 2 DiiUas, i. 203.

tion at a time when every bushel was needed for the
subsistence of the troops in the field, fighting for lib-
erty. A large part of the proceeds collected at that
time was appropriated to the "depreciation fund,"
created in this State (as in others, in pursuance of a
resolution passed by Congress in 1780; for the pur-
pose of giving to officers and soldiers of the Revolu-
tionary army an additional compensation, a measure
which was manifestly just and necessary, because the
value of their pay had been greatly lessened by the
depreciation of the Continental currency.

After the close of the Revolution, laws imposing
excise duties on distilled spirits remained on the
Pennsylvania statute-books until 1791, but they were
not generally enforced, and were exceedingly unpop-
ular, especially in the western and southwestern por-
tions of the State. During the period mentioned
(some seven or eight years prior to their repeal in
1791), though the excise laws of the State were by
no means generally enforced, the collection of the
revenue tax on spirits was several times attempted,
but never successfully executed in the southwestern
counties. Such an attempt was made in Fayette,
Westmoreland, and Washington Counties in the year
1786, and the consequences resulting to an excise
officer in the last-named county are shown in a letter
written by Dorsey Pentecost'"' to the Executive Coun-
cil of Pennsylvania, as follows:

" WASjiiNGrgN Cuu.vrv, ICtli Apr.l, 17SC.

" Gextlejiex :

" About ten days ago a Mr. Graham, Excise officer
for the three western Counties, wa^, in the exercise of
hisoflice in this County, seized liy a iiuiuliriof People
and Treated in the following maniRi-, vi/. : His Pis-
tols, which he carried before him, taken and broke to
pieces in his presence, his Commission and all his
papers relating to his Ofiice tore and thrown in the
mud, and lie rnrciMl ..r maile to >tainp (in them, and
Imprecak- .airsrs ..n himsrlf, tlir ( 'MmmisMr.n, and the
Authority that -avr it to liim: tiny tluMi cut oil' one-
half his hair, rurd tliuotlici' half oii on,- si.le of liis
Head,<-utu:l'thr (;.H-lo.f hi. Hat, ami mad,- hiiu wi-ar
it in a lonn to rrwlw lii> ( ■„,. tlir uuM Conspiru.uis ;
this with luaiiy otlua- marks of Ignominy they Im-
jios'do]! liim.ami to which lie was obliged to submit;
and in the aliove plii:lit they marched him amidst a
Crowd from the frontiers ,,r this County to Westmore-
land County, calling at all the ^lill llou-e-in their
way. where they were Treated (iratis, and expos'd
him to rvory Insult and mockery that their Invention
loiihl coiitnve. They set him at Liberty at the en-
trance ot' Westmoreland, but with Threats of utter
Desolutioii >honl.l he dare to return to our County.

"This llamlittie 1 am told denounces distruction,
vengeance aguiii.,t all manner of People who dare to
oppose or even ganesay this their unparrelled beha-



vior, and that they will support every person con-
cerned against every opposition. I suppose they de-
pend on their numbers, for I am told the Combination
is large.

" 1 have thought it my duty as a good citizen to
give your Honorable Board information of this match-
less and daring Insult offered to Government, and the
necessity there is for a speedy and Exemplary pun-
ishing being inflicted on those atrocious offenders, for
if this piece iifcimduct is lightly looked over, no Civil
officer will 111- siile in the Exerciseof his duty, though
some Gontkiiiei) with whom I have conversed think
it would be best, and wish a mild prosecution; for my
part I am of a different opinion, for it certainly is the
most audacious and accomplished piece of outragious
and unprovoked Insult that was ever offered to a i
Government and the Liberties of a free People, and :
what in my ojnnion greatly agrivates their Guilt is
that it was not done in a Gust of Passion, but cooly,
deliberately, and Prosecuted from day to day, and I
tiicre appears such a desolute and refractory spirit to j
pervade a Certain class of Peojile here, particularly ]
those concerned in the above Job, that demands the ^
attention of Government, and the most severe pun- j

" I am not able to give the names of all concerned,
nor have I had an ri]ipoitunity of making perticular
enquiry, but have received the aforegoing informa-
tion from different pe<>|.lcnn whom I can rely, neither
do I think they have as many Irieiids as they >npii<}se,
or would wish to make the i.uKlic believe. I have it
not in my Power at this time to lie as full and ex-
plicit as I could wish on this subject, as I have but
Just time to hurry up this scrawl while the carrier is

" I am, Gentlemen,

with the highest Esteem and Respect,
your most obdt, very Humble Servt.
" DoRSEY Pentecost.''
" His Excellency The President
and ^Members of the Supreme
Executive Council of Pennsylvania.

Online LibraryFranklin EllisHistory of Fayette County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men → online text (page 35 of 193)